Marine Biology

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 75–80 | Cite as

Tissue and sub-cellular distribution of Fe, Cu, Zn and 210Po in the abalone Haliotis rubra

  • R. V. Hyne
  • J. D. Smith
  • G. Ellender


The tissue and sub-cellular distribution of Fe, Cu, Zn and the naturally occurring radionuclide polonium-210 was determined in the gastropod mollusc Haliotis rubra collected from Western Port Bay, Australia, between March and July 1988. The highest concentrations of the metals, with the exception of Cu, were found in the digestive gland. Copper was more uniformly distributed, with tissues that are more vasculated having higher concentrations. Ultrastructural examination of the digestive gland, gill and kidney showed dense membrane-bound granules within the cytoplasm. Elemental analysis of the granules by electron probe x-ray microanalysis indicated that the granules in the digestive gland and gill contained high concentrations of iron, with small amounts of copper and zinc. In contrast, the metal-containing granules in the kidney were predominantly composed of iron, copper and phosphorus, with variable contributions of sodium potassium, and calcium. Homogenisation and fractionation of the digestive gland by differential centrifugation confirmed that approximately 80, 10, 90 and 50% of the total homogenate Fe, Cu, Zn and 210Po, respectively, sedimented at 1200xg. In the haemolymph, all the elements studied were associated with the soluble high molecular weight component of the serum, not with the amoebocytes. 210Po was present in the mucus-secreting hypobranchial glands at about half the concentration found in gill tissue.


Radionuclide Digestive Gland Gill Tissue Variable Contribution Sodium Potassium 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. V. Hyne
    • 1
  • J. D. Smith
    • 1
  • G. Ellender
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Chemistry Laboratory, School of ChemistryUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Dental ScienceUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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